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tv   [untitled]    May 4, 2012 3:30am-4:00am PDT

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to all the buildings-- bulk district, which would be to apply to all the buildings. lastly, the changes to the boundaries of the new montgomery second street conservation district. they were initiated yesterday. those are the items before you. the planning department's is happy to recommend approval of all these items. to direct the department to notify a of the hearing on or after may 24. we are happy to take any questions. >> thank you. there may be some questions later. going to public comment, i do have a couple of speaker cards. >>
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. i am the planning director at spur. i'm here before you to ask you to initiate adoption of this plan. we really believe in its critical importance to san francisco, the region, and the state of california. we think this plan represents one of the most important and significant transformational pieces to the transit system, both in the region and in the state. as planning staff identified, in order for san francisco to meet the growth projections and policy objectives, this plan is critical. the district plan is critical to san francisco, in terms of maintaining a jobs center in the downtown downtown is a major regional job center. it is home to over 250,000 jobs.
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over 50% of workers in the downtown use the sustainable transportation mode. this plan represents an opportunity for us to increase that and sustain that in the city. although we recognize the shadow impacts are of concern, given their modest impact, we believe the plan as a whole is much more significant to how we're going to meet our transportation goals and sustainability goals for san francisco. lastly, and certainly something that is important to spur, is the bta plan for staff. many in san francisco as buyers to finance. this is one that actually delivers -- aspire to finance. this is one actual delivers on
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that. it is an important step in bringing high-speed rail to san francisco and takes the necessary steps to make sure we are competitive in the region. sober urges adoption of this plan. -- spur urges adoption of this plan. >> good afternoon, commissioners. the and kingsley -- dan kingsley. i'm here to express our support for this effort. director graeme and his staff should be commended for producing a very good plan. it is quite visionary, especially when you consider this is 145 a. in the middle of a very dense city. it is a very good piece of work and i'm hopeful that not just the commission, but the board of supervisors and the mayor will recognize what they have done. there are two areas of concern that we understand will be difficult to address, given the
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limitations going on in the state of california. the first is with the elimination of the tax increment plan that is available now that the agencies have been eliminated. the department is increasing the tax for the property that will be entitled under this plan. it will produce more financial strain on the feasibility of these projects. i would ask the commission and others within the city to keep an open mind and look for ways to make the cost of economic improvements more equitable so it can be spread over the 145 a. f the plan area. there may be some solutions worked on in sacramento, but i think the city and county should embrace those when they occur. the second is that the redevelopment plan and it surviving the development
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agency, the affordable housing needs to be on site. in our case, we are building a 700 ft. tall building. you could probably produce more affordable housing if it was offsite ban on site. and given that affordable housing in california is going through a crisis without the redevelopment funds, we would encourage the city and county to keep an eye on looking at other ways to increase of four or housing in san francisco. -- affordable housing in san francisco. we agree with what you've done and we urge approval of the plan. thank you. >> my name is wayne. i am a real-estate consultant in san francisco. i am working with two of the projects in the transit district area. i'm here to talk about a few
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small issues, but more important, we are supportive of this plan. we spend a lot of time working with the planning department. we are aware of all of the issues and we commend the department for bringing this plan to this stage with this type of analysis. what about the concerns that we have--- let me first say that the project receive benefits from this plan. we understand it will be costs. there is concern that it may be inequitable in the sense that we will be paying for a lot of these fees for projects outside of this district area and enjoying the same benefits of development, but do not have to participate in these fees.
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one of the concerns i have -- and it is not to discredit this plan, but there was an article in the "wall street journal" about the city district tax plan, which was to create this district because of changes in the economy. all of a sudden, the tax revenue anticipated to be generated it did not come about and the money was taken from the city's general fund to support the bond -- the payment on the bond. the concern is that with our projects here, if the impact fees and development fees are too high, it may give -- it may impede development. we're dependent upon it proceeding. we're open to discussion, but
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also not opposed to the plan proceeding over the next year to make sure we can come up with alternatives to make sure these projects can proceed. the other thing very quickly, for the palace hotel, we did an analysis of reunion square on the shadows studies. and in those shadows studies, we took images every 25 minutes to show how union square is used. although the shadow studies are correct, it does not account for all of the cloudy days an early- morning spirit of the impact may not be as great. thank you. -- the cloudy days and early mornings. the impact may not be as great. thank you. >> good afternoon, president, commissioners. my name is bob. i'm a realtor. i have been actively involved in
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the rail extensions since 1984. we are here to support this plan. we think it creates substantial benefit for the district, substantial benefit to the properties that exist there, but perhaps a load on new development that will not be shared by other properties. primarily, we think there may be an opportunity to expand the concept of affordable housing in the district by allowing them off site and for them to be treated as -- the same as other properties in san francisco. our hope -- as you can see, there are only two active development in this district. there are no other developments being proposed. it is quite important that these developments actually get billed to my get financed by get marketed so that this revenue can come to the city.
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although we urge you to move on the schedule that has been proposed, we also hope that you can help us with some inquiry and creativity to see if there are ways to make it more certain that these developments actually happened. i also want to say that director graeme and his team have been very open and receptive i feel like we have -- open and receptive. i feel like we have an ability to communicate and our goals are common in making these buildings go up. >> good afternoon, commissioners. and the executive director of livable city. we have been following this plan and talking to your staff and we think there are a lot of great things in this plan.
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we think there are a few things you can do to further the goals of this plan if you change them. i was reading an article recently about portland and they talked about the success of the portland model planning. in portland, they said, you make what you want to see happen easy to do and yet you make the things you do not want to see happen hard to do. in san francisco, sometimes we do exactly the opposite. one thing is -- to consider is floor area ratio. we see that we want jobs downtown. we say what housing downtown and parking downtown. residential uses an office uses count against your f.a.r. limit, but not parking. one thing you could do is to build some other f.a.r. exemptions in. that could be affordable housing. you could give it back to the
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project sponsors in terms of everyone is entitled to the parking. you can begin to incentivize the things you want to see. there is no good policy reason for exempting parking from f.a.r. indeed c-3 districts and we would ask you to limit it. -- in the c-3 districts and rescue to limit it. there's four hundred times more parking than is permitted in the c-3 by right, 100 times for a parking ban is permitted in the old district by right. those redevelopment controls can be amended legislatively. we would ask that you would make the amount of amended
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residential parking consistent. pick a number and make it consistent. and there is a serious issue about our -- barred capacity, particularly in the embarcadero area. we really need to deal with this as a city. it's going to hamper the ability to be downtown. most of the transportation has been on part in the last three decades, not on muni. i would love to talk to you about capacity limits and we need to do to address it, but to ignore it over and over again is distressing. if we do not deal with it, we will not be able to attract people to transit. thank you. president fong: any additional public comment on this item?
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>> my name is brad. i serve as the co-chair of the park shadow task force, which was set up by then mayor newsom and david chiu. we have been looking at this site as an example of how to think about methodology. but i'm not here today in that capacity. i'm here as an individual who many of you know has a long history in that -- in affordable housing. i am participating in the task force meetings. you know how dire things have gotten. we have lost 40 million to $50 million a year. the ways we are talking about it initially is ways to put up to $10 million in the first year and then slowly wrapping back up. it might be good to rethink the policy that requires that affordable housing has to be on site in the project.
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i and stand the idea behind that to create an economically creative neighborhood. it is not like we're talking about building this miles away. there may be some real problems in trying to do this because of the way the land was transferred to the city. it would probably require some kind of state legislation. i only ask that you consider that as we have this conversation to see if there is a way to free up some of the money to build affordable housing for nearby families. the other thing that was pointed out to me recently is that although this will become eventually a full neighborhood, a lot of things are not there. if you were to build the project with the affordable housing two or three blocks away from a grocery stores and other levels bates, that would be a
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good idea. i would ask the board to look at this. president fong: any additional public comment? seeing none, commissioners, questions? commissioner moore: i appreciate everyone's comments. this is not an easy project. this is reinventing a large part of downtown and i appreciate the department's effort to keep us posted with the detail of what they want done. i support the plan. what is missing for me is the lingering uncertainty over the transit center itself. we got this project moved into the limelight of the public discussion. i think there needs to be a clearer understanding of the financial responsibilities of what people are expecting
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exchange for extraordinary high concessions for this transit center tower. there are clear expectations for the creation of a civic space related to the design and future redevelopment of the area using the park as a catalyst. on march 19th, john king pointed out in an excellent article about the change in the tower design. the office tower is an integral part of an emerging vision of what it will be. and it should be a goal of succeeding on all levels on opening day. and what he means is not just that our standing on its own. what happened is that apparently, there is a lack of commitment to the canopy, which
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is a basic requirement of the competition and will be strongly commented on as the winning entry. i've voted at the cta board meeting in which the full board acknowledged the competition winner. board member support of the winner was partially because they agreed to $350 million, which is almost more than twice as much as what the other to entrance into the competition promised. what i anders and today, this money has decreased. -- understand it today, this money has decreased. it was always clear what the
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commitment would be relative to participating relative to the square at howard in building this canopy. however, what one often does when things are so exciting, the details get lost in translation. at this moment i looked to several board meetings as well as renegotiated terms of october 21st, 2008. there is not any clear responsibility that heintz would pay for it, but there was an innuendo that they would participate. and the access to the roof garden, which everyone believed. whether that is realistic or not is not part of my comment. however, all of a sudden, we do not have access to the roof garden, other than through the transit center itself, because i made it clear in its competition entry that they would not allow
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an entrance for passing over the transit center roof garden by way of their own lobby. we still have 5.6 a. of public open space on top of the transit center, but we do not have any clear understanding how this is going to come about. hynes has clearly indicated an interest in programming the roof garden. they have interest in creating a -- an association of owners. they want volunteers to organize an organization of stakeholders and provide funding they have clearly said that they will not be paying for it. we do not have any idea not only who would be responsible for funding, we do not have any idea about the management of the park.
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park and ride has not volunteered yet, and probably they will not. it we might have a green roof, but not a roof garden. this goes to the question of whether or not a roof garden 70 ft. up in the air is up for discussion. i want to get to the core of the commitment for the transit center, for the tower being the catalyst not only for the park, but by way of public access in the form of vernacular or wherever with public transit that is focused on transit, but also with the office. i believe this needs to be
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clarified and committed prior to this entire plan being approved because we are approving a plan with the centerpiece missing, that we will have a very hard time delivering what the public is expecting. i'm not sure if after my long presentation you have an answer, but we would look for you to have an understanding. >> thank you, commissioner. i appreciate those comments and i know several commissioners raised comments last time as well. which is why we prepared the language that joshua mentioned to strengthen the language in the plant -- in the plant to point out the need for public access to locations on the roof. i do think that what we're
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trying to do with that language is make sure that the connection is an integral part of the plan. commissioner moore: may i also ask that there is at least in numerical rundown of how the reduced funds that heintz would be paying, not, -- would be paying, it is less than before. where were the other funds come from? there has been concern that it would be passed on to others. there was a significant lower ground lease of heintz, based on a large amount of benefits for the smallest amount of contribution. >> the construction of the park
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as the garden-type environment complete with amphitheater and lawn and large, established trees is still part of the phase one program. it is not just a green roof. but it is a full-fledged part. and to the question of maintenance come off -- maintenance, it is true that rec park is not in a position to provide the maintenance for the park. we will be looking to establish a community benefit district, or other mechanism around the transit center to help offset the maintenance and operation costs.
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as far as the proceeds from the transaction on the transit tower, that is part of the land sale revenues that are included in the phase one funding plan that i put out earlier. and we continue to remain fully funded within a phase one, despite the changes in the trend the tower site. >>commissioner moore: could you comment on access from the outside to the roof garden? could you also comment on the revenue? there is no description of the changes being there any more either. there is an interaction between people at the park and using the mezzanine for shopping and interaction. >> the west end of the transit center, we have at both the ground level and the second
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level mezzanine a retail-focused and government. this is part of providing for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the transit center. it is the revenue expected to be generated through those retail activities. this is in the area between first and second streets and then the pedestrian mall that i mentioned earlier. in terms of access points to the park, there is access through the grand hall. there is an escalator that cascades up to the bus back. and there are elevators from the grand hall, elevators from first street, elevators from beale street, and elevators from the west and on that, to be part -- on natoma to the park level.
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>> -- commissioner moore: how are people getting to the buses? >> the elevators at the west and from they are going to the park. there are other levels that service other locations as well as the park. >> and we can get you information about the tax information as well. >> i'm with the former redevelopment agency. the good news is -- and this was mentioned by some of the developers that came up and spoke, to. all of the developers that formally spoke from a transit center to the redevelopment area is still in place.
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we will continue to collect that tax increment and spend its as before. there's not any loss of tax increment for transbay. i want to clarify that, to make sure everyone understood we are definitely still in place as a redevelopment plan and all the tax increments. we're not a redevelopment agency anymore. we've lost some of the tools, and in the domain for example, but other than that, all of the other tools are in place. -- and an end of domain for example, but other than that all of the other tools are in place. >commissioner moore: could there be an update about -- a presentation about the updated design? i'm concerned that all of the elements as equally strong and powerful as they were, however, what this building is going to be delivering has greatly
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diminished. i do think this commission needs to know what is currently on the table. cracks and we can certainly do that. -- >> and we can certainly do that. and we will come back later in the year and give you an update on the design. commissioner antonini: thank you for a very good presentation. i do have questions. my first is, regarding the timetable, we know from an earlier presentation that we are not to expect rail service to the transbay terminal until 2121. i think that was the projected time. -- 2021. i think that was the projected time. when will the bus service take place? presumably, that could take place a lot sumer -- a lot sooner and allow us to move the temporary terminal. >>